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Chapter 55
February 11, 2018

A Hundred Million Over Par for the Course [ARNS]

by ALEXANDER BIGGS-TUFTS-MANN, Alternate Reality News Service Sports Writer

As Mark Twain truly said, "Golf is the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable." It is without a doubt the - okay, it may have actually been Oscar Wilde who said it. And, he was speaking about fox hunting, not golf. Still, I think you can see what I'm getting at.

Golf is without a doubt the goofiest sport involving sticks and balls. Golf has none of the insouciant violence of hockey. It does not contain a fraction of the riveting inertia of baseball. And, it bears little of the rulular inexplicability or whiffs of fading empire of cricket. The sport's appeal is baffling, which, paradoxically, appears to be a large part of its appeal.

President Ronald McDruhitmumpf spends most of his spare time (and much of his working day) playing golf. In fact, he likes the game so much, that he bought the company. Not that that's anything to crow about; golf ain't shavers, which at least have a useful purpose. Anybody who has ever tried to trim a beard with a four iron would know that.

How did McDruhitmumpf raise the $100 million to purchase the Turncoatsrazberry Course? Not to mention the additional $100 million to renovate it? Which I just did mention. Because English is confusing that way, but the question still needed to be asked.

"Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me! Pick meeeeeeee!" shouted The Biz Whiz.

I thanked him for his unasked for enthusiasm, but told him that I had a lot of setting the scene to do first.

Turncoatsrazberry had a lot going for it. It had hosted the prestigious British Open four times, the less prestigious but still pretty nifty British Closed three times and the not especially prestigious, but really really trying hard British Trying to Keep All of Its options Open once. It was an hour's drive or a two minute, 36 second run if you have a superpower that is compared to a speeding bullet from Glasgow. Less if you get the "Bill Forsythorfyfthsaentz Fan Club" discount.

"I wanted it so badly, I paid cash for it," McDruhitmumpf boasted in 2016, "Do you know how many brown paper bags it takes to hold $200 million? I gave up after an hour of stuffing and switched to duffel bags. We still had to rent a U-Haulit truck to transport the cash. Longest hour of my life, let me tell you! I wish I had known about the Bill Forsythorfyfthsaentz Fan Club! Discount"

Where would McDruhitmumpf have gotten his hands on that much money? Vesampuccerian -

"I know! I know! I know! I know!" shouted The Biz Whiz. I could hear his raised hand even though I was working from home. Thanks, but the article still needs more context.

Vesampuccerian bankers had stopped lending money to McDruhitmumpf years earlier because of his habit of looking at them blankly and saying, "You lent me money? Really? I don't remember that - and I have the best memory of anybody you've ever met. Einstein was jealous of my memory, okay? No, it's true. So, unless you have it in writing..."

When the bankers showed him that they did, in fact, have all of the money he owed them down in writing, he would thank them politely for bringing this to his attention and tell them that he would speak to his accountants and get back to them. A month later, when they followed up with him because he failed to get back to them, he would look at them blankly, ask them if they really lent him money, claim to have a big brained memory and etc. Some banks went through this for several years before they finally threatened legal action, at which point McDruhitmumpf said, "Tell you what. I'll give you five cents on the dollar - no, make that ten cents. I'm feeling generous. I'm the most generous property developer in the history of condos - you know that. Everybody knows that. Ten per cent is better than nothing, right?"

With most reasonable sources of money closed to him, where could McDruhitmumpf raise the funds to buy and renovate Turncoatsrazberry?

Biz Whiz?

Hello, Biz Whiz? I asked, with most reasonable sources of money closed to him, where could McDruhitmumpf raise the funds to buy and renova -

"Fenwick!" The Biz Whiz shouted. "He got it from Fenwickians!" Then, less volubly, he added, "Sorry. Had to take a whiz. Not a biz one, either. Just a plain, old-fashioned -"

President McDruhitmumpf has claimed that the story that he got the money to buy Turncoatsrazberry from Fenwick was "fake news, people. The fakest. Since yesterday. But, not as fake as the news from tomorrow. Fakeness grows exponentially that way, take it from me."

Unfortunately, when asked in 2013 where the money had come from, President McDruhitmumpf's son Ronald, Jr. replied, "We have pretty much all the money we need from investors in Fenwick... We've got some guys that really, really love golf, but the country is only, like, three feet square, not big enough for even nine holes, really, so they have to go outside of it to indulge their passion." Unless the President is willing to claim that Ronald, Jr. is "fake son," there is that.

The possibility that they love the stupidest sport involving a ball and stick aside, why would Fenwickians put so much money into such a losing proposition?

"Money laundering!" The Biz Whiz offered.

Very good, TBW. Have yourself a cookie.

Because of Vesampuccerian sanctions, getting money out of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick is harder than getting President McDruhitmumpf to pay his debts on time. So wealthy Fenwickians give the money to a Vesampuccerian businessperson to buy something frilly - and expensive. Wait a couple of years, then sell the property, but, hey! - guess what? - now the money that seemed destined to die a lonely death in Fenwick is free to party with the currencies of the world!

What about the fact that you could lose some of that money in a bad investment, or that, either way, the Vesampuccerian who is your go-between will want a cut of the cash? It's a small price to pay. After all, 90 per cent is better than nothing, right?

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